Online Dating Safety Screening Process to Change After Assault
The online dating safety screening process used by popular site Match.com will be changed to weed out sex offenders.
The move comes after a California woman sued the company claiming a man she met on the site sexually assaulted her. The woman’s attorney said the suit wants Match.com to conduct background checks and screen members for those who may be sexual predators.
The woman says the man initially appeared to be polite but after the second date, he followed her home and assaulted her. She later found he had been convicted for several counts of battery.
"This horrific ordeal completely blindsided me because I had considered myself savvy about online dating safety," the woman said in a statement released by her attorney. "Things quickly turned into a nightmare, beyond my control."
The website said it will begin screening its users against the national sex offender registry.
The president of the site, Mandy Ginsberg, told the Associated Press that the screening databases “remain highly flawed.” The website has considered using the screening systems before but said they were unreliable.
Ginsberg stated that users should still be aware and alert of their surroundings and people they meet online.
Lawmakers in Texas and Connecticut are also trying to pass bills that require more information to be made available to online users.
Connecticut’s legislation would require dating sites to provide a safety awareness notice. The Texas bill would require sites to disclose whether they conduct criminal background checks. Similar laws have been passed in New York, Florida and New Jersey.